Ways to virtually welcome students back to school!
Getting back to school after a vacation is always a challenge for students. Be it offline or online class, it’s not easy to get back into the spirit of learning immediately. However, as a teacher, it’s up to you to not only intrigue them with the class but also excite them for the coming year. And also making sure that each one of them is comfortable and feels welcome. Incase of virtual classrooms this might be an even bigger challenge as it misses the in-person connection. Hence making it even more important for teachers to provide them the warmth and create a good atmosphere.
Thus, as the new academic year and thereby the re-opening day comes closer, you sure would have thought, "how do you welcome students in a virtual class?" Hence, here are a few ways to help you virtually welcome students back to school:
A day or two before the commencement of your online class consider sending out e-invites or perhaps “know your teacher” creatives to your students.
A reminder of the classes and their timings is customary, but these are a more appealing way to do the same, which might help attract your students better towards the class. This acts’ as an exciting first-step to your warm welcome even before they are part of your class.
2. Introduce yourself in a fun way
There is no arguing that introduction is the ultimate icebreaker, so what better than making things captivating from the very first step?!
You can break the silence in a more creative way than just a formal ‘good morning’. While some would choose to crack a joke or sing, you can do something that defines you best.
Next, rather than just speaking, which can very quickly get monotonous and mundane, you can have a presentation/ creative presentation, which gives them an idea of you. Moreover, an “all about me” presentation will help them better connect with you.
Tip: You can also create a bitmoji virtual classroom, to make things more interactive (this would especially help with lower grade classes).
3. Organize an engaging and constructive orientation
Ever wondered what do you do on the first day of school online? Well to answer that, know that it’s always a good idea to let your students know on the very first day all the things that are expected of them, all that they can expect and how they can reach you, etc.
Hence, here are a few things that you can include in your welcome orientation:
Inform them of all that you would include in the syllabus for the academic year.
Additionally, also make sure to send a copy of the same to the students as noting it all down or remembering it wouldn’t be easy.
Inform them of what you expect from them, and your set of rules, and give a rough sketch of the exam and assignment plans.
Familiarize them with the varied features of your online coaching app. And about how, where, and when they can contact you, clear their doubts, or get access to study material.
If there are administrative members in your virtual institute, be sure to invite them to your live class and introduce your students to them. This will help give your students a semblance of an offline class and also help them know who they can contact if stuck with things.
4. Plan fun and engrossing games
First days are all about fun and games and not studying, and keeping this in mind would be the perfect recipe for a warm welcome.
You can engross your students in some fun yet educative games, and can also know them better via the same. Some fun game ideas would be:
Emoji Responses or Polls can be a good way to start. You can ask them basic things like describe your mood with an emoji, etc.
Would you rather. This is another fun game that could aid you in understanding your students better.
20 questions, is another way to understand student perspectives and things that they have in common better. To make it more interesting you can make it two ways, allowing them to ask you questions as well.
3,2,1 introductions. In this game a student has to talk about 3 things about themselves, 2 of their achievements and ask 1 question to their classmates/ teacher in 90seconds or less.
Grab and show is another fun game where you hint to them about an object and then they have to rush and grab something that fits the description. Eg: something round, something red that starts with the letter a, etc.
In short, the objective is to make it informative yet fun and captivating enough to pull them towards their virtual classes. There have been increased instances of absenteeism in the case of an online class hence making it important, to have these sessions.
Furthermore, make sure that you have a friendly online teaching app, one that makes your and your student’s task easier and things more accessible. One such app is Winuall, which has many simple yet effective features that would help both students and tutors. Lastly though most importantly (with an online class), don’t forget to guide them through the features of your online coaching app!